Bible Subjects

Daniel 11:14 Who are the “sons of robbers?”

Daniel 11:14 a. and in those times the they many ones they shall stand up against on king of the Negev and sons of robbers of people of you they shall lift up themselves to to cause to stand/fulfill of the vision and they stumble. (Hebrew literal translation)

Daniel 11:14 b. And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall. (Hebrew/ English translation)

According to Daniel 2:40, Dan 7:7.19, the power following Greece was Rome. Rome was a robber of Daniels people. However in the Hebrew text it says in Daniel 11:14 “sons of the robbers” of your people. They were not actually robbers but “sons” of them. “Sons” is the subject of the verse and not “robbers” as many theologians have concluded. So we have to find “sons” in the plural which came after Rome and who have fulfilled the vision. Which vision? The vision as a whole, previously given in Daniel 7: Daniel 8: and Daniel 9:

Where do we find a plural of powers which came after Rome and fell?

The ten tribes which were the foundation of Europe are in the plural, but they did not all fall. There were only three tribes which fell according to the vision. Dan 7:7.8. Dan 7:20.21. Dan 7:23.24. These are the three kings Visigoths AD 508, AD Vandals AD 534, and Ostrogoths AD 538. These are the “sons” of the robbers coming after Rome. Therefore, this verse in Dan 11:14 is referring to the starting point of the Little Horn power, after uprooting the three tribes: the sons of the robbers. This is also the starting point for the pronouns used for the Little Horn power such as “he” and “him” right through to verse 45.

Other texts supporting this view that the Little Horn came to power during the fall of the three tribes

Dan 7:8.20. I was considering the horns. And there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.

Dan 7:21. I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them. (This was during the Middle Ages)

Dan 7:24. The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. (Visigoths, Vandals and Ostrogoths).

Dan 7:25. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. (The 1, 260 years which is the same as a time and times and half a time, is from 538 to 1798 A.D. during the Middle Ages)

Dan 8:8.Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in the place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven.

Dan 8:9. And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land.

Dan 8:10. And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled on them.

Dan 8:11. He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.

Dan 8:12b. and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.

Dan 8:13b. How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?

Dan 8:14. And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days,” then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.

A Brief historical background to the rise of the Little Horn

(Walker 57[1]). When did the Church first begin to use Catholic for itself? First used by Ignatius, meaning the universal church. It is next to be found in the letter of the church of Smyrna, describing the martyrdom of Polycarp in AD 156. The Catholic Church developed its distinguishing characteristics between AD 160 and AD 190. The powers of the Bishops were greatly strengthened by the creed formulated from the New Testament in AD 180. He who acknowledged the rule of the faith (creed), the New Testament canon and the authority of the Bishops.

(Walker 60). Thus, out of the struggle with Gnosticism and Montanism, came the Catholic Church with its strong Episcopal organization, creedal standard and authoritative canon. It differed much from the apostolic church. The church endured the severest of early persecution under Nero in Rome. By AD 100 the church in Rome became the largest congregation and expected other congregations to obey it.

(Walker 61). Irenæus of Lyons in 185 A.D. writes the Roman Church was founded by Peter and Paul and declares “it is a matter of necessity that every church should agree with this church.

(Walker 62). The observance of Easter on Sunday practiced by the Roman church – – – . The churches of Asia Minor, led by Polycrates bishop of Ephesus, refused conformity. There upon Victor bishop of Rome AD 189-198. excommunicated the recalcitrant congregations, – – – this was a marked assertion of Roman authority. The collapse of the Jewish Christian leadership, the apparent lack at Antioch of men of eminence in the second century, and the decline of the influence of Asia Minor left Rome by AD 200, the most eminent and influential center of Christianity; a position of which the Bishops of Rome had the will and ability to make full use of.

(Walker 150). The acceptance of Christianity as the religion of the empire gave to the Emperors a practical authority over the church. By the time of Justinian, the emperor declared, on his own initiative, what was sound doctrine, and to a considerable extent regulated church administration. The Emperors largely controlled appointment to high ecclesiastical office – – – through seeking approval of councils etc. of the church.

(Walker 150). By the Third Century the Bishops power increased and the way was open for Constantine to rule with both Christianity and Paganism supporting him

(Walker 151). In AD 319, Constantine made the clergy a privileged class and exempted them from public burdens of taxation.

Norskov Olsen, Myth & Truth Church, Priesthood & Ordination (California: Loma Linda University Press, 1990), 47.  Already in the middle of the third century, we the appointed and representative ministry of the New Testament changed, so it was compared to the Aaronic priesthood. Cyprian, a bishop of Carthage, writes about the Lord´s Supper as a sacrifice in the hands of the bishops: In practical Christian life the clergy by the middle of the third century where a distinct, close knit spiritual rank, on whom the laity were religiously dependent.

William H. Shea, Daniel (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Pub., 2005), 274. 275.  In Europe, one of the major events that year was the conclusion of the war between Clovis, king of the Franks (later France), and the Visigoths, whom he defeated and pushed into Spain. Clovis’ other conquests covered the two previous decades with the defeat of the Visigoths being the last of these. Then Clovis was baptized and like Constantine, he marched his troops down to the river and through the river and had the bishop pronounce them Christian.

The Arians believed that Christ was a created being, and this view was anathema to the bishop in Rome. Thus when Clovis and the Franks defeated the Arian Visigoths and drove them into Spain, it was also a theological victory for the bishop of Rome. The relationship was cemented by the baptism of Clovis and his troops. In that way Clovis became, as it were, a new Constantine.

Two major elements come together here (1) the blending of the political arm of the state and the religious arm of the church; and (2) the use of the arms of the state to accomplish the ends of the church. With the defeat of the Visigoths as heretical Arian Christians, the church came to use the military power of the state to enforce its dogma. In this connection the three horns which the papal little horn plucked from the head of the beast representing imperial Rome (Daniel 7:8) can be seen as the following three powers: the vandals in 534, the Visigoths in 508, and the Ostrogoths in 538. These were victories for the Frankish and Roman emperors, but they were also theological victories for the bishop of Rome. The first of these horns was plucked up in 508 at the beginning of the 1,290 days; the last of these three was plucked up in 538 at the beginning of the 1,260 days.

The two dates from 538 to 1798 reveal the time of political power the papacy was allowed to rule during the Middle Ages. This political power began when Clovis the king of Franks (later called France) supported the bishop of Rome, later called papacy, in establishing their policies. The papacy came to use military power of the state to enforce its dogmas. This political power was taken away in 1798, and the papacy has remained a spiritual power ever since.

Thus the setting up of the abomination of desolation of Daniel 12:11 can be seen as the union of church and state, and what the church set out to accomplish through the power of the state.

Dan 8:9 “And out of one of them came a little horn.”

What does the word “came” mean?

“yasa” in the Hebrew means “out of,” “to go out,” “to come forth.”

It is not the typical word for growth of a horn in Dan 8. Two times in Dan 8 the idea of the growth of a horn or horns is emphasized. In verse 3 “the higher came up last.” In verse 8 four notable ones came up – growing up in the place of the great horn that was broken. The verb “alah” is used. But in Dan 8:9 “yasa” is used. This does not mean growth but implies movement from one place to another: from one compass direction to another. It is horizontal movement and not vertical growth implied here.

This is in consistent with Daniel and other Old Testament passages using the word “yasa.” Dan 9: 11:11.44. “yasa” is used for military movement Deut 20:1. 1 Chron 5:18. 20:1. Amos 5:3. 1 Sam 8:20. In conclusion, the little horn does not grow out of the 4 winds of heaven but it moves from one compass direction to another. Furthermore in Dan 8:9 where it refers to “toward the south, towards the east and towards the glorious land,” the little horn can only come from the west i.e. The Mediterranean Sea or the north from which Rome came from. Antiochus came from the Seleucid kingdom inclusive Babylon which lies to the east of Palestine in 311 B.C. Alexander died in 323 B.C. So this division of his empire occurred 12 years after his death.

The Seleucid kingdom enlarged from the east to Syria and Mesopotamia in the North in 301 B.C. The great horn of the goat was broken in 323 B.C. Antiochus Epiphanies does not fit the time period for he came on the scene in 175 to 163 B.C. Therefore the kingdom of Rome both pagan and papal came after the kingdom of Greece.


[1] Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1963)

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